When we hear the best, there’s nothing stopping us from enjoying all facets of life. We can enjoy the sounds of our surroundings, from the voices of our loved ones, to the sounds of laughter, music and the rest of the outside world. Hearing enables us to make moments a lot more enjoyable and memories more memorable. When our hearing is impaired or severely diminished, it can cause an immeasurable impact upon our lives. The sounds we take for granted are gone, which can lead to changes that can impact us emotionally and mentally.
Hearing is one of the most important senses that we can lose, it plays a major role within our lives, impacting our emotional well-being, physical health. It can impact our home, careers and even affect how we go about our leisure activities.
Despite this, millions of people around the world who suffer from various forms of hearing loss often leave it undiagnosed and untreated. This is despite research showing links between untreated hearing loss and increased risk of falls, depression, anxiety, hospitalisations and even dementia. 1 in 6 adults suffer from hearing loss, making it the third most physical condition they face (per: https://www.starkey.com.au/improve-your-hearing).
What is Receiver In Canal Hearing Aid (RIC/RITE)?
The Receiver in Canal (RIC) hearing aids, also known as the Receiver in the Ear (RITE) or Canal Receiver Technology (CRT) are hearing aids that perform the same function as the Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids, with the main difference being that the receiver for the hearing aid sits within the ear canal. Whilst they are smaller than the BTE hearing aids, they still house a number of features. Similarly, to the BTE, the RIC/RITE hearing aids sit comfortably behind the wearer’s ear.
The RIC/RITE hearing aid is best described as being an open-fit hearing aid. There are three main components of the RIC/RITE hearing aid. There is the case, the wire-ear piece and the earpiece. The case is the main body of the RIC/RITE which houses the battery powering the RIC/RITE’s ability. The wire-ear piece houses a thin micro tube which extends from the main body of the hearing aid (the part that sits behind the ear) to over the ear and into the ear canal. A soft tip (the earpiece) sits within the ear canal, but without blocking the canal allowing for air and sound to continue to flow into the ear reducing any sense of the wearer feeling like their ear is blocked or clogged.
The RIC/RITE is similar to the BTE hearing aid in that it sits comfortably behind the wearer’s ear however, unlike the BTE hearing aids, the receiver of the RIC/RITE sits within the ear canal. Due to this, any generated sound is only required to travel a short distance with lower transmission loss, less sound energy (and battery power) is required. This helps to enhance the ability of the RIC/RITE and provides the wearer with a more superior hearing ability.
What are the advantages of the Receiver in Canal (RIC)/Receiver in the Ear (RITE) Hearing Aid?
There are numerous advantages of the RIC/RITE Hearing Aid, these include:
• There is no sense of feeling as though the ear canal is blocked or clogged up due to provision of a soft tip sitting within the canal;
• Casings are virtually invisible, designed small and allowing complete discretion for the wearer;
• The tubing leading from the hearing aid through to the soft tip is clear and nearly invisible to others;
• The RIC/RITE can house larger batteries for longer usage, providing a longer sense of usage for the wearer
• The RIC/RITE also minimises the sound of the wearers voice by allowing sounds to escape the ear canal, producing better quality hearing
According to statistics, more than half of the patients that require hearing aids are good candidates for the RIC/RITE hearing aid style (per https://www.connecthearing.com.au/types-of-hearing-aids/receiver-in-canal/).
If your hearing loss is classified as being mild or moderately severe, and you are physically able to manipulate small objects (such as the RIC/RITE hearing aid), then it is recommended that you consider the Receiver in Canal or the Receiver in the Ear hearing aid.